Posted by The TaxAdvocate Group, LLC

Jury Pay, Paid to an Employer

Jury Pay, Paid to an Employer

When an employee is called to the jury, it can be a burden on your business. It may be necessary to readjust just to cover the employee's absence. In some instances, the creation of products or services can be stopped. 

When your employee fulfills their civic duty, your business won't stop. But when an employee is on leave due to jury duties, do they stop getting paid? Or do you pay them jury duty pay?


Do you have to pay an employee for jury service?

Employees can be paid for jury service. Check out the laws regarding federal and state jury obligations to find out what to do.

 

Federal Laws:

The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) states that you don't have to pay employees for time they're not working. This includes while they are on jury duty. Under federal law, if an employee loses their job because they are on the jury, they don't have to get paid.


State Laws:

Under federal law, you do not have to pay for jury service, except as otherwise provided by state law. Some states have more stringent juror compensation laws than federal law. If your state has laws regarding juror obligations, you must follow them.

Your state may require that the employee receive regular wages during jury service. Or you can only pay part-time wages for a short period. In the event of non-compliance with laws on jury duty, salaries and fines may be demanded. You could also be jailed.

Each state creates unique laws, so be sure to check state-specific laws. Your State Department of Labor should be able to provide more information. 

Here are the laws for state compensation for jury duties. Be sure to authenticate the accuracy of your condition. Also, additional licensing laws may apply to jury duty.


Voluntary Payment for Jury Service:

Even if you don't have to pay your employee for jury duties, you can still do it as a benefit. Voluntarily offering jury compensation can help employees achieve financial stability while they are away. Of all employees in the United States, 68% receive paid leave of absence from their jury. This percentage is even higher in certain occupations and regions.

Whatever you choose to do, be consistent. Treat your employees fairly; include the jury compensation policy in your employee handbook to let them know what to expect.


Tax Deduction for Paying back Your Employer:

Many wage earners or employees receive regular payments or paid leave from an employer while serving the jury. Many courts also pay jurors to perform their duties. Both payment methods are considered taxable income.

Employers who pay their employees to work as jurors usually require employees to hand over the earnings they received from the court. In such a situation, you will claim the payment as income and then take a tax deduction for the jury service payment you gave to the employer.

Example: You receive a jury fee of $100. Give that $ 100 to your employer, who continued to pay you your salary while you were a juror. The net profit for jury service is zero ($ 100 - $ 100 = $ 0).

As a result, you can make a tax deduction, which offsets the taxable income, so that you only pay taxes for the amount of money you didn't give back.

Remember that making the deduction is a little different than not earning the jury money upfront. You have to report $ 100 of jury income, but you can also deduct $ 100 from income tax. Several states compel employers to provide at least some compensation to jurors, but not all states do. The jury typically pays between $ 10 and $ 30 per day. As a result, jurors who are not paid by their employer often suffer a loss of income.


For Example:

  • A juror who normally earns $7.25 an hour and is not paid by the employer would lose $ 58 per day from his regular income.

  • The court can only pay $20 per day for jury service, which means the jury would lose $38 net per day of income ($58 - $20 = $38).

  • A juror serving five days would lose $ 190 ($ 38 x 5 = $ 190). This loss of income cannot be deducted from the jury's income statement.


Parking, Miles, and Meals:

Some courts will reimburse jurors for expenses such as parking, transportation, and even meals. As these are refunds, they would normally not be included in the taxable income declared by the court.


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